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Special Tools for Special Needs: New Technologies Help LD Kids

Assistive technology allows learning disabled children to succeed in areas they may not have been able to before. The AT tools available today are making it easier for kids with learning disabilities to acclimate to and adjust to the demands of social and school-related pressures.

Some organizations, like the Association of Assistive Technology Act Program (ATAP), are striving for state assistance, but in general parents are required to supply most AT devices their children may require in the classroom. (For an overview of AT that should be provided to your LD child, visit http://www.fctd.info/factsheet/atlaws.) Although many AT services are cheap (some include everyday items such as highlighters and sticky notes to help with organization), others can be expensive. To help reduce unnecessary spending, most schools make this a mandatory discussion for parents and teachers during yearly IEP meetings to help determine which tools will be most helpful.

The use of AT can be an effective approach to helping a learning disabled child function better at school and at home. LD students often have the most success when they are able to use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses; the trick is simply finding a system or device that works for their particular needs. AT has the ability to level the playing field for LD children and enhance the functional independence of a child with a learning disability. AT allows disabled children to travel, participate in social and recreational activities, succeeed in school, and lead normal lives, which is why organizations like the Family Center on Technology and Disability are so passionate about working to incorporate them into the classroom and home.



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